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On Climate Change, Is Justin Trudeau Just a 'Stunning Hypocrite' Who's Nice to Look At?

    Since his election in 2015, the youthful prime minister has been the object of much admiration and many a social media meme. (John McCallum / CC BY-ND 2.0)
Natasha Hakimi Zapata
Assistant Editor and Poetry Editor
Natasha Hakimi Zapata is currently a Ph.D. candidate in Latin American Literature at the Universidad Complutense de Madrid, Spain. She also holds a Creative Writing M.F.A. from Boston University and both a…
Natasha Hakimi Zapata


 

Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s good looks and rhetoric distract from his terrible environmental approach, journalist Bill McKibben contends.

In a piece for The Guardian, the author of “Oil and Honey: The Education of an Unlikely Activist” explains that while in many ways Donald Trump and Justin Trudeau are polar opposites, when it comes to climate change, Canada’s leader is pretty much on par with his American counterpart.

From The Guardian

[Trudeau] sure is cute, the planet’s only sovereign leader who appears to have recently quit a boy band. And he’s mastered so beautifully the politics of inclusion: compassionate to immigrants, insistent on including women at every level of government. Give him great credit where it’s deserved: in lots of ways he’s the anti-Trump, and it’s no wonder Canadians swooned when he took over.

But when it comes to the defining issue of our day, climate change, he’s a brother to the old orange guy in DC.

Not rhetorically: Trudeau says all the right things, over and over. He’s got no Scott Pruitts in his cabinet: everyone who works for him says the right things. Indeed, they specialize in getting others to say them too – it was Canadian diplomats, and the country’s environment minister Catharine McKenna, who pushed at the Paris climate talks for a tougher-than-expected goal: holding the planet’s rise in temperature to 1.5 degrees Celsius.

But those words are meaningless if you keep digging up more carbon and selling it to people to burn, and that’s exactly what Trudeau is doing. He’s hard at work pushing for new pipelines through Canada and the US to carry yet more oil out of Alberta’s tarsands, which is one of the greatest climate disasters on the planet.

Read more here.

— Posted by Natasha Hakimi Zapata

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